commercial fiction · fiction · HQ Stories · new reads · romantic comedy

New York, Actually by Sarah Morgan

sarah morgan new york actually

Meet Molly

New York’s most famous agony aunt, she considers herself an expert at relationships…as long as they’re other people’s. The only love of her life is her Dalmatian, Valentine.

Meet Daniel

A cynical divorce lawyer, he’s hardwired to think relationships are a bad idea. If you don’t get involved, no-one can get hurt. But then he finds himself borrowing a dog to meet the gorgeous woman he sees running in Central Park every morning….

If you’re looking for a romantic comedy that ticks all the right boxes and proves to be a light and easy read, then there’s really no need to look any further – this is the book you need to get your hands on. 

The plot focus on Molly, a british behavioural psychologist that runs a blog under the pseudonym, Aggie, answering all of New York’s relationship issues. She has the love of life, Valentine, her cute Dalmatian. Life is just as she wants it to be until she meets Daniel,  renowned divorce-lawyer whose persistence and charm coax Molly out of her shell. When Molly takes Valentine for a walk in Central Park, Daniel can’t help but notice Molly and a strong desire to meet this woman becomes apparent. Both Valentine and borrowed dog, Bruttas help the two come together time and time again in the park, though this is not a whirlwind romance from the start.  That’s the best thing about this novel, Sarah really plays out the sexual tension as well as Daniel chasing Molly for her attention: he first buys her coffee, then coaxes her to a dinner and when things do really wrong the Valentine, he’s hands-on and ready to help Molly.

It is clear that Molly is equally attracted to Daniel though she refrains from leading with her emotions. A mysterious and painful past makes Molly conscience of getting herself and Daniel hurt. Both characters have some psychological issues linked to their childhood that become unravelled when they get to know one another. Both characters are deceitful without intentionally wanting to hurt the other person. Despite this, love pulls them together and they’re both exactly what they need from each other.

This novel is the right amount of hooks and drama to pull you all the way through to the end. I couldn’t put it down. The subplots tie in nicely to the main plot and you can’t help but fall in love with Daniel – he’s the epitome of your ideal man. This was my first read of Sarah Morgan’s novels but it won’t be my last, that’s for sure!

New York, Actually was published by HQ Stories in 2017.

commercial fiction · HarperCollins Publishers · HQ Stories · new reads

The People At Number 9 by Felicity Everett


Meet the new neighbours. Whose side are you on?

When Gav and Lou move into the house next door, Sara spends days plucking up courage to say hello. The neighbours are glamorous, chaotic and just a little eccentric. They make the rest of Sara’s street seem dull by comparison.

When the hand of friendship is extended, Sara is delighted and flattered. Incredibly, Gav and Lou seem to see something in Sara and Neil that they admire too. In no time at all, the two couples are soulmates, sharing suppers, bottles of red wine and childcare, laughing and trading stories and secrets late into the night in one another’s houses.

And the more time Sara spends with Gav and Lou, the more she longs to make changes in her own life. But those changes will come at a price. Soon Gav and Lou will be asking things they’ve no right to ask of their neighbours, with shattering consequences for all of them…

Have you met The People at Number 9? A dark and delicious novel about envy, longing and betrayal in the suburbs…

I was super excited to read this but was quickly disappointed when I discovered a slow-moving plot and characters I couldn’t relate to. The plot focuses on a toxic friendship between two married couples, which moves from adulation at the start to disillusionment and a hard-earned self-knowledge by the closing chapters. Gav and Lou are the cool, new couple in the neighbourhood. They’re glamorous, carefree and full of their own creative importance. Sara and Neil, on the other hand, are reliable, average, middle-class couple that get sucked into the glamour and glits of Lou and Gav.

Felicity shows us the world through the eyes of Sara: her crush on Gav and Lou, her misgivings, her eventual (very slow) wake-up, which is spurred on by rejection and jealousy.

If  you are someone that needs to like the characters in the book, then this is not the book for you, as it wasn’t for me. I didn’t like the characters I was reading about – Gav and Lou were not people that I could relate to, though it was easier to relate to Sara regarding many things she experiences with her new neighbours. I found that the plot moved very slowly and there wasn’t a hook pulling me all the way through it. I stopped and started this novel a few times and decided to give one push and finish it all.

Thank you to HQ for allowing me to review this novel.

The People at Number 9 was published by HQ Stories, HarperCollins in April 2017.